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Santiago early May when to arrive to avoid the most crowded

#1
I start my camino the 3rd of April, 08 and would like to hear if somebody knows, what dates it would be best to arrive in Santiago . I ask because if its possible to avoid the most crowded time I prefer that. My plan is to arrive in Santiago somewhere around the 2nd of may . I have a chance to stretch my journey so I can arrive a week later but isnt it even more busy at that time because of the holidays?. Do any of you know what dates its most crowded or if it makes no diffrence? Molle :D
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#2
Molle-unless you are absolutely determined to walk the CF I would recommend the via de la plata. I say that because I walked from Le puy to SDC this june/august and found the french section much better,less crowded by far.I know you intend walking earlier to avoid the crowds but I recall the office in SJPDP had a chart showing most popular months and for the first time ever there were no months when there weren't any pilgrims.Last year I walked from Seville and found it peaceful, harder,but much more rewarding than the CF-it was also my first camino.Next year I'm walking from Granada in may. It all boils down to whether you want crowds or not-my opinion is that the CF will now always be crowded.
 
#3
You should be fine walking at that time. I finished my camino (camino frances) this year in late May, and I had a bed to sleep in every night. Some days I had to walk quickly or stay in a casa rural, but finding a place to sleep won't be an issue. Especially when you are going- I think not as many people start the camino in the beginning of April, because there is still some rough weather in the mountains at that point (a blizzard in mid april between st jean and roncesvalles this past year, if I remember correctly). In addition to reading what is ahead in your guide, ask around to see if there are places that have limited spaces- sometimes albergues are still closed that time of year or are closed for other reasons (renovations, etc) and can surprise you when you are expecting lots of beds. I don't think you'll have any problems though. Arriving at the beginning of may would probably make it less crowded for you, but it is better to take your time and not rush, if possible....

buen camino! I wish I could do it again this year.
 
#4
Thanks for taking the time to answer. I will add another week to my pilgrimage and arrive a little later in Santiago. I dont mind pilgrims along the way, thats just fine, its more the arrival to Santiago and the cathedral. I have recieved a message by Kiwinomad, that the holliday is the 1. of may, and my concern was the crowd in the cathedral on this/these events. Molle :D
 
#5
Hey, I started the camino on May the 2nd and it was very busy at this time, though i heard a few days ahead and a few days behind it wasnt so bad, i just got stuck in a surge of pilgrims. Each year the pilgrim season seems to be starting earlier but it shouldn't be to hectic early april.. fingers crossed anyway ;)
 
#6
Hi Molle,
Welcome to the Forum
Just another voice suggesting that you should be fine with the dates you have chosen. Kiwirich says he 'got stuck in a surge of pilgrims.' That sort of thing happens. I was working in the 'English' refugio at Rabanal during the last 2 weeks of May this year and there were some nights when every bed in the village was taken and we even ran out of floor space. Then a few days later we filled up slowly and one night even had a spare bed. We heard that on some of the busy nights there had been 400 pilgrims in Astorga heading our way. I think Kiwi hit one of these groups.
Buen Camino,
Brendan
 
#7
brendan nolan said:
Hi Molle,
Welcome to the Forum
Just another voice suggesting that you should be fine with the dates you have chosen. Kiwirich says he 'got stuck in a surge of pilgrims.' That sort of thing happens. I was working in the 'English' refugio at Rabanal during the last 2 weeks of May this year and there were some nights when every bed in the village was taken and we even ran out of floor space. Then a few days later we filled up slowly and one night even had a spare bed. We heard that on some of the busy nights there had been 400 pilgrims in Astorga heading our way. I think Kiwi hit one of these groups.
Buen Camino,
Brendan
English refugio in Rabanal? I walked through there on May 17 this year and I thought the only albergue was El Tesin (though I could be wrong... I was sick and collapsed when I arrived and didn't look around town much). There was not a single bed left anywhere in town and the hospitalera from that albergue actually took my boyfriend and I home with her! So that near-disaster turned out to be a really nice experience. I heard also that the particular day we passed through there was an abnormal surge of pilgrims.

If you have a hard time finding beds, walk faster or drop back and maybe you'll have better luck finding places.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#10
El Tesin sleeps 36
Gaucelmo (named after the hermit who founded Foncebadon) sleeps 46+
There is also the refuge Nuestra Senora del Pilar in the village square - the building with the colourful coat of arms - that sleeps 78. Open all year - 5 euro
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
#11
AVOID MAY 2nd!!!

Hola Molle,

may as such is not a bad time to make it to Santiago. HOWEVER, may 1st is a holiday in Spain, and may 2nd is a holiday in Madrid, so it will most likely be a long weekend and Santiago and the last km will be particularly busy with long weekend Spanish pilgrims/groups.

Maybe you can arrive a few days later, you will enjoy the last part of the walk better.

Buen camino!
 
#12
I walked in August September and I ahve a different take on when to go...
I arrived in SJPP on sunday and left monday morning. I had no problem finding a bed. But I was told that Friday night, people were sleeping in the street. There was absolutely no room anywhere. Leaving 2 days after the weekend crowd kept me in a group that had less people as we arrived in albergues. SO I vote for starting on a weekday and not on a friday or saturday.
Have fun
Lillian
 

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